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Category: Cookbooks

Observing a Daniel Fast

Daniel was a prophet of God during the 6th century B.C.  I once heard it preached that Daniel is the only man, other than Christ, that the Bible has nothing bad to say about.  I have enjoyed any and all of the studies I’ve done in the book of Daniel.

He was among some Israelite children who were taken captive by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar during a siege of Jerusalem. Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, were among a select group who were chosen based on:

Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.  Daniel 1:3-4

Based on how they did things, the king fed them delicacies and wine and gave them intense training for 3 years, after which they would be able to serve the king.  The problem with the food was that the Babylonians did not follow a Levitical diet, and they offered their food to their idols before they consumed it.  Despite their circumstances and the fact that this could have resulted in severe punishment for them, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, refused to eat the food and to drink the wine.  The eunuch in charge of them said:

“I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”   Daniel 1:10

Daniel offered a challenge to him.

“Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.  Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.”  Daniel 1:13-14

So, the eunuch consented and at the end of ten days, Daniel and his friends looked healthier and stronger than the other captives who partook of the delicacies and wine of the king.  So they were allowed to continue with their diet for the three years training time.

Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.  Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abed-Nego); therefore they served before the king.  And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.  Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus. Daniel 1:18-21

That is the first time such a diet is mentioned in the book of Daniel.  The next time is in Daniel 10.

In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks.  I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.  Daniel 10:2-3

Daniel had received a message from God, and he fasted for 21 days so that he would fully understand this vision.  At the end of his fast, he was able to interpret the vision from God (which is understood to have been a vision of the risen Christ) and give a prophecy about his vision.

So, there are two instances in the book of Daniel where he fasts from anything but vegetables (and according to everything I’ve studied, the term for vegetables includes fruits and seeds) and water.  Once was to make his body healthy, to improve his appearance, to “buff up” so to speak.  Another time was to strengthen himself spiritually for God to speak to him.

Starting January 2, my husband and I will begin a 21-day observance of “The Daniel Fast”.  I want to detox my body and focus on God.  I’m using the fast to strengthen both my body and my spirit.

If you Google Daniel Fast, you will get a wealth of resources that do all sorts of talking and explaining about the fast.  Some allow tofu, some explain away drinking herbal tea, some spend page after page trying to explain just how to do it.  I’m going to keep it simple.

In observing the diet we will eat only vegetables, fruits, and unleavened bread that does not contain any ingredient that is not made directly from a vegetable or fruit.  For instance, I am going to make tortillas out of fresh ground flour and olive oil (instead of shortening or beef tallow).  When I make a salad, I’ll flavor it with olive oil (cold pressed) and lemon juice.  We will eat only whole grains (brown rice vs. white rice). We will only drink water.  We call it “vegan extreme”.

We aren’t looking for shortcuts. We’re not going to consume a “to-furkey” because it’s a vegan turkey. We’re just looking to simply eat straightup fruits and veggies and drink only water.

We do this fast annually, and it is so rejuvenating to both my body and spirit that I start looking forward to it weeks in advance. This year, I feel led to share with you my menus for the fast as well as recipes, hints, tricks, and insights I receive as I fast and pray.  I will be posting daily in my Hallee the Homemaker facebook group about it. If you want to join in, check back on this blog through the Daniel Fast tag at this link, or join that group (I promise I won’t try to sell you anything.)

Other than that specific group, I’ll also be on a social media fast. So, that’s about the only place you’ll be able to find me other than this website.

halleeLOGOspinefinal

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Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway – Day 12!

Welcome to the 12th and final day of my 12-Days of Christmas Giveaway!

Today I’m giving away a brand-new Crockpot Classic 7-Quart Slowcooker:

 

And an autographed copy of Hallee Crockpotter and the Chamber of Sacred Ingredients:

Here’s how you can enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to everyone everywhere. The giveaway for all 12 days will end on December 31, 2018 at 11:59 pm est. As the 12 days progress, these links will be live:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

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Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway – Day 9!

Welcome to day 9 of my Twelve Days of Christmas giveaway!

Today, I’m giving away a cast-iron skillet:

A set of bamboo cooking utensils

And an autographed copy of Iron Skillet Man, The Starke Truth About Pepper and Pots

Here’s how you can enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to everyone everywhere. The giveaway for all 12 days will end on December 31, 2018 at 11:59 pm est. As the 12 days progress, these links will be live:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

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Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway – Day 4!

Welcome to day 4 of my Twelve Days of Christmas giveaway!

Today we’re celebrating 50 Shades of…..GRAVY! Yes, that’s right! We’re giving away my “probably a New York Times Bestseller” Fifty Shades of Gravy, this beautiful gravy boat, a whisk, and a gravy ladle (a $60 value!)

Here’s how you can enter to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to everyone everywhere. The giveaway for all 12 days will end on December 31, 2018 at 11:59 pm est. As the 12 days progress, these links will be live:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

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Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway – Day 1!

Welcome to day 1 of my Twelve Days of Christmas giveaway!

Today’s giveaway is all about the bread. Bethlehem, home of Christ’s birth, means House of Bread. And, House of Bread is my publishing imprint for my cookbooks!

We kick off the 12 days of Christmas with a glass bread pan and an autographed copy of The Walking Bread.

Here’s how you can win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to everyone everywhere. The giveaway for all 12 days will end on December 31, 2018 at 11:59 pm est. As the 12 days progress, these links will be live:
Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

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Buy Ebooks Directly from Me!

I’m excited to launch a direct ebook sales availability on my website. If you go to “home” on this website and click any book cover, it will take you to that book’s page. From there, you can click any retailer button you choose to purchase the ebook or paperback. But, if you click the Paypal button, it will take you to a place where you can download the file in your preferred format (including a Kindle .mobi) without having to go through a retailer.

I’m so excited about this!

Here is a sample of the page for Christmas Star Sapphire:

Second Generation Jewel Series!

MADELINE VISCOLLI meets JOE WESTCOTT during a campus ministry meeting as she begins graduate school in Alabama. Joe’s personal rule of not dating students starts to fade until he discovers Madeline’s destiny lay in running her father’s massive corporation. After rejecting wealth and all its trappings, Joe struggles against the attraction he feels for Madeline. Madeline knows she loves Joe, but is not willing to throw away her destiny of taking over the helm of Viscolli Enterprises.

A Christmas Eve funeral washes all Joe’s plans away. Will their love succomb to the rising tide caused by their differences in lifestyles, or will raging seas calm and allow them to sail off into the sunset?

For $2.99, you can securely purchase the ebook directly from Hallee. Click the Paypal button:




Find Christmas Star Sapphire at any of these online booksellers:

Olivia Kimbrell Press
EBook ISBN: 978-1-68190-019-3

To get an autographed copy of Christmas Star Sapphire, order directly from Hallee at this link.

Christmas Star Sapphire can be purchased in paperback at the following places:

Ask your local library to order this title:

Olivia Kimbrell Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-68190-021-6
ISBN-10: 1681900211

The Back Cover:

MADELINE VISCOLLI finds herself on the Gulf shores of Alabama, where she takes part in a graduate program to earn her MBA. On her first day there, she meets JOE WESTCOTT, team leader for a campus ministry. Despite a mutual attraction, Joe’s personal rule of no romance with any student keeps any kind of deep relationship from developing.

Joe has no desire to have a relationship with anyone, ever, anyway. He left a life of luxury and his family’s business behind to live alone on a sailboat and serve in ministry. Then Madeline walks into the auditorium the week school starts and Joe suspects his personal rules might not apply to this graduate student.

That is, until he discovers Madeline is one of the Viscollis, and that her destiny lay in running her father’s massive corporation. Having rejected wealth and all its trappings since childhood, Joe finds himself falling for the vivacious sapphire-eyed beauty. Madeline knows she loves Joe, but is not willing to throw away her destiny of taking over at the helm of Viscolli Enterprises.

A Christmas Eve funeral washes all Joe’s plans away. Will their love succumb to the rising tide caused by their differences in lifestyles, or will raging seas calm and allow them to sail off into the sunset?

 

Excerpt from the Book:

Capture

When Madeline Viscolli arrived a few minutes late at the small auditorium on the east side of the University’s campus, she expected to see a few dozen people already there, but found only one lone man sitting on the floor with his back against the base of the raised stage. Frowning, she glanced at her watch. Surely on the campus of one of the largest universities in Alabama, the Cru program had more than one person involved.

Once called Campus Crusade for Christ, Cru served on college campuses all over the world. Cru provided students with worship and fellowship opportunities in a body of believers – a family away from family. While an undergraduate at the University of Florida, she’d spent hours and hours with her Cru family, and grew into a deeper relationship with God than she’d ever even thought possible. She’d gone on four mission trips spanning a total of eight different countries, volunteered in summer programs, and had developed friendships she knew she would treasure for the rest of her life. Now, pursuing a Master’s degree in business, she found herself on the coast of Alabama hoping to integrate into a new Cru group.

Never shy, Madeline walked into the nearly empty building and marched straight down the aisle. The man looked up from his book and smiled at her. He had light red hair and a goatee that looked nearly blond. As she drew closer, she recognized the logo on his T-shirt from her favorite seafood restaurant in Key West.

“Hello,” he greeted, setting his book aside and standing. Even though Madeline stood just two inches shy of six-feet, she had to look up at him. He smiled warmly and looked directly into her rich blue eyes as he held out his hand. “Joseph Westcott – Pastor Joe – though most people just go with Joe.”

“Madeline Viscolli.” She shook his hand. Even though he kept his grip purposefully light she felt the hard calluses on his palms. Her father, an avid rower, had similar calluses. So, he was a pastor. Why was no one else here, then? “Am I in the right place for the Cru meeting?”

“You sure are,” he answered, his green eyes shining with amusement, “and you’ll be right on time in about fifty-eight minutes.”

“Doesn’t the meeting start at six?” Madeline frowned checking her watch.

“Yes. It does.” He raised an eyebrow. “Still on east coast time?”

Why would he be asking…? Feeling her face flood with heat, she realized. “Of course. We’re in Central Time.”

With a friendly laugh, he gestured toward a cooler that sat on the floor near the stage. “Takes a little while to lose that hour. Water?”

“That would be lovely, thank you.” Accepting the ice cold bottle from him she slipped her bag off of her shoulder and sat in one of the comfortable auditorium seats. “I didn’t get in until just now. Came straight from the airport. I actually scheduled my arrival to coordinate with the meeting.”

“Where you comin’ from, Miss Viscolli?” While he casually dropped the verb much like a native, his accent didn’t sound Deep South to her ear. It made his manner of speaking interesting. His warm smile made it even more interesting.

“I graduated last spring from the University of Florida.” She took a long pull from the bottle, not realizing how thirsty she felt until the icy water hit her dry throat. “I’m going to be getting my Master’s here.”

“Gators? Let me think.” He hopped up onto the stage, facing her. He wore leather deck shoes with no socks and, despite the red hair, had a rather dark tan. “Chris Wilson still the Cru director there?”

Picturing the dark brown face and laughing light brown eyes of Pastor Chris, Madeline smiled. “He is. His wife just had their second baby.”

“He showed me pictures at our annual conference.” He gestured at his T-shirt. “I usually spend a good bit of the summer in Florida myself.”

The calluses on his palm and the tan lines despite his fair complexion had her guessing his hobby. “Do you sail?”

His eyebrows rose in surprise. “How did you know that?”

Madeline shrugged. “Lots of little clues, I guess.” Plus, she could see him, in her mind’s eye, on the deck of a little catamaran, skimming the turquoise waves off the Florida Keys. Her family had a home down there, and she had spent her childhood living in either Boston or southern Florida. Sailboats were just a part of what she considered normal in life.

“Quite observant, Miss Viscolli.” He pronounced her name perfectly, long o sound and all. He looked at his watch. “We have some time before the meeting. If anyone else had their times mixed up, they would have been here by now. Honestly, you should probably eat something now if you’re still on Eastern Time. You’ll be starving in a few hours. Want to grab a coffee and a snack or something?”

“Actually, I think I’ll skip tonight and go find my apartment.” She stood, almost instantly regretting turning down the offer. She suddenly realized she might enjoy getting to know Mr. Westcott better. “I thought I’d have more energy. I just got in from spending the last several weeks in England with my brother and his wife, and I’m a bit jet lagged.” Waving a hand around the room, she added, “Hence the mix-up with the time.” She picked up her bag and slipped the strap over her shoulder. “I look forward to the next few years, Pastor Joe Westcott. Cru has been a major focus of my life since my first day at college. I’m praying I’ll be able to develop the kind of friendships I had in Florida.”

He scooted off of the stage and held out his hand. Without hesitation, she placed her hand in his again.

“It was truly a pleasure to meet you, Madeline Viscolli. I look forward to seeing you again very soon and I’ll be sure to email Chris Wilson and let him know I met you.” He held her hand throughout this tiny little monologue, then gave her fingers a gentle squeeze before he released her grasp. Did he hold her hand a heartbeat longer than necessary, or was that just her jet lagged brain slowing everything down?

****




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